JMIR Medical Education
Technology, innovation, and openness in medical education in the information age
JMIR Medical Education (JME) is an open access, peer-reviewed journal with a focus on technology, innovation and openess in medical education. This includes e-learning and virtual training, which in the (post-)COVID world has gained critical relevance. The journal is also interested in the training of health professionals in the usage of digital tools. We publish original research, reviews, viewpoint and policy papers on innovation and technology in medical education. As an open access journal, we have special interest in open and free tools and digitial learning objects for medical education, and urge authors to make their tools and learning objects freely available (we may also publish them as a Multimedia Appendix). We also invite submissions of non-conventional articles (eg, open medical education material and software resources that are not yet evaluated but free for others to use/implement).
In our "Students' Corner", we invite students and trainees from various health professions to submit short essays and viewpoints on all aspects of medical education. In particular, we welcome suggestions on how to improve medical education, new technologies, applications and approaches. There are currently no article processing fees for papers accepted for "Students' Corner".
JMIR Medical Education is indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central, DOAJ, Scopus, and the Emerging Sources Citation Index (Clarivate).
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly increased telehealth usage in the United States. Patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) face barriers to health care, which may be mitigated when providers work with professional interpreters. However, telehealth may exacerbate disparities if clinicians are not trained to work with interpreters in that setting. Although medical students are now involved in telehealth on an unprecedented scale, no educational innovations have been published that focus on digital care across language barriers.
The demand for regional anesthesia for major surgery has increased considerably, but only a small number of anesthesiologists can provide such care. Simulations may improve clinical performance. However, opportunities to rehearse procedures are limited, and the clinical educational outcomes prescribed by the Royal College of Anesthesiologists training curriculum 2021 are difficult to attain. Educational paradigms, such as mastery learning and dedicated practice, are increasingly being used to teach technical skills to enhance skills acquisition. Moreover, high-fidelity, resilient cadaver simulators are now available: the soft embalmed Thiel cadaver shows physical characteristics and functional alignment similar to those of patients. Tissue elasticity allows tissues to expand and relax, fluid to drain away, and hundreds of repeated injections to be tolerated without causing damage. Learning curves and their intra- and interindividual dynamics have not hitherto been measured on the Thiel cadaver simulator using the mastery learning and dedicated practice educational paradigm coupled with validated, quantitative metrics, such as checklists, eye tracking metrics, and self-rating scores.
Social media presence among health care professionals is ubiquitous and largely beneficial for their personal and professional lives. New standards are forming in the context of e-professionalism, which are loosening the predefined older and offline terms. With these benefits also come dangers, with exposure to evaluation on all levels from peers, superiors, and the public, as witnessed in the #medbikini movement.
Patient simulators are an increasingly important part of medical training. They have been shown to be effective in teaching procedural skills, medical knowledge, and clinical decision-making. Recently, virtual and augmented reality simulators are being produced, but there is no research on whether these more realistic experiences cause problematic and greater stress responses as compared to standard manikin simulators.
Health professionals in low- and middle-resource settings have limited access to up-to-date resources for diagnosing and treating illnesses, training medical staff, reviewing newly disseminated guidelines and publications, and preparing data for international disease reporting. A concomitant difficulty in high-resource settings is the need for continuing education and skills up-training in innovative procedures on unfamiliar social media platforms. These challenges can delay both patient care and epidemiological surveillance efforts. To overcome these challenges, health professionals have adapted WeChat Groups to implement timely, low-cost, and high-quality patient care.
Self-regulated learning (SRL) is gaining widespread recognition as a vital competency that is desirable to sustain lifelong learning, especially relevant to health professions education. Contemporary educational practices emphasize this aspect of undergraduate medical education through innovative designs of teaching and learning, such as the flipped classroom and team-based learning. Assessment practices are less commonly deployed to build capacity for SRL. Assessment as learning (AaL) can be a unique way of inculcating SRL by enabling active learning habits. It charges students to create formative assessments, reinforcing student-centered in-depth learning and critical thinking.
Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a major public health concern in the United States. The opioid crisis has taken hundreds of thousands of lives in the past 20 years, and it is predicted to take millions more. With the rising death tolls, it is essential that health care providers are able to use proper tools to treat OUD efficiently and effectively through medication-assisted treatment (MAT), particularly buprenorphine. Despite changes to buprenorphine regulations making it more accessible, clinicians have been slow to use buprenorphine to treat OUD. We believe that training student clinicians in evidence-based MAT and buprenorphine practices will address the training and competence barriers that hinder clinicians from prescribing buprenorphine to treat OUD. Students are in an ideal position to receive and benefit from this training and influence the medical community to better treat OUD.
Due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the cancellation of in-person learning activities forced every aspect of medical education and student engagement to pivot to a web-based format, including activities supporting the performance and dissemination of scholarly work. At that time, social media had been used to augment in-person conference learning, but it had not been used as the sole platform for scholarly abstract presentations.
The field of health information management (HIM) focuses on the protection and management of health information from a variety of sources. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Council for Excellence in Education (CEE) determines the needed skills and competencies for this field. AHIMA’s HIM curricula competencies are divided into several domains among the associate, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Moreover, AHIMA’s career map displays career paths for HIM professionals. What is not known is whether these competencies and the career map align with industry demands.
Anesthesiology education has undergone profound changes over the past century, from a pure clinical apprenticeship to novel comprehensive curricula based on andragogic learning theories. Combined with institutional and regulatory requirements, these new curricula have propagated professionalization of the clinician-educator role. A significant number of clinician-educator anesthesiologists, often with support from department chairs, pursue formal health professions education (HPE) training, yet there are no published data demonstrating the benefits or costs of these degrees to educational leaders.